RV Camping - All The Comforts Away From Home
Illinois RV Camping and Campgrounds
Illinois has a wide variety of RV camping locations with spectacular scenery, solitude, and interesting history. Public
lands and private RV parks and campgrounds offer a wide range of camping facilities from full service RV hookup campsites to
remote primitive camping (boondocking) locations throughout Illinois.
Illinois Private RV Parks and Campgrounds
- Private RV Parks - Research tools for finding the best privately owned RV parks and campgrounds in Illinois.
Federal RV Camping Information
- US Forest Service - Official USFS information about RV camping in the Shawnee National Forest in Illinois.
Free dispersed RV camping (boondocking) is permitted on lands managed by the USFS. Includes public campground
- US Army Corps of Engineers -
USACE/COE information about COE lakes and RV camping opportunities in Illinois.
- US Fish and Wildlife Service - FWS information about National
Wildlife Refuges in Illinois. Some wildlife areas permit camping. Check refuge regulations about restrictions.
State RV Camping Information
RV Dump Stations In Illinois
Free RV Camping In Illinois
Public Land offers many free RV dispersed camping opportunities. You can get free RV camping location tips from the USFS
(USDA Forest Service) Ranger Districts. US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) also has some free RV camping facilities. Boondocking and Dispersed Camping has more information about how
find the best RV camping sites on public lands.
The following are just a few examples of free RV camping locations available throughout Illinois.
HWY-29 1 mile north of town east side of highway. Unused rest area. No facilities. HWY-29 1/4 mile south of town on west side of
highway. Large gravel pull-off. Any size RV.
Eagles Market off HWY-79, exit 48B,
going West. RVs & truckers welcome to spend the night in a back
corner of their parking area.
City park on east side of town on US-24.
Free dispersed camping (boondocking)
is available in the Shawnee National Forest.
Contact local forest ranger districts for recommended locations.
Designated free dispersed camping
(boondocking) is permitted at the USDA Turkey Bayou Campground. Used as a hunting camp in the fall, this area is open year around for
Illinois Public RV Camping
RV camping is allowed throughout Illinois in US Forest Service campgrounds, state parks and USACE (US Army Corp of
Engineers) campground facilities. USDA Forest Service developed campgrounds suitable for RV camping. USFS campgrounds
are usually primitive with vault toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings. Water and trash are sometimes provided.
The following are examples of the many great RV camping locations found in Illinois.
47 first come first serve campsites
are available at the Apple River Canyon State Park.
Hiking, biking, fishing are only a few of the outdoor recreation
RV camping is available at several
developed campgrounds at Carlyle Lake. This USACE (US Army Corps of Engineers) managed lake has fishing,
hunting, boating, and is especially attractive to sailboaters.
57 campsites, 31 with electricity are
available the at Oak Point Campground. Boating, camping, fishing, and hiking are some of the available activities.
A more rustic camping experience can
be found in the Sand Ridge State Forest. Outdoor activities include hiking, biking, camping, sport shooting, and more.
Year around RV camping is available at
the USDA Redbud Campground. 21 campsites with seasonal water and vault toilets.
184 reservable campsites are available
at the Kickapoo State Recreation Area. This former strip mine is now the home of nearly unlimited outdoor
8 public campgrounds are available at Lake Shelbyville. This USACE (US Army Corps of Engineers) managed lake has over 11,000
acres of water, and 23,000 acres of land for recreational use.
Hundreds of reservable campsites are
available at the popular Chain O' Lakes State Park. Boating, fishing, hiking and camping are just some of the outdoor activities
Basic campsites are available at the Des Plaines Fish & Wildlife
Area. Outdoor activities include boating, fishing hiking, camping, and picnic areas.
13 campsites with vault toilet and 14
day limit are available at the USDA Pine Hills
Campground. Fishing, hiking, hunting, wildlife
viewing are just some of the activities available.
location map images for finding RV camping locations in Illinois are
derived from Topo USA 8.0 National Edition
and used with their exclusive
permission. These map images only display a very limited area.
DeLorme's Topo 8.0 covers the entire USA with highly detailed maps that
can be zoomed in or out, moved, printed, and interfaced with GPS units.
3-D views, tracking and route planning, as well as map annotation
ability are included. BLM administered lands are available free with
registration of the program.
Federal Public Land
RV Camping Information
USFS (US Forest Service) - Describes USFS
policies and rules about RV camping. Information about
dispersed camping, and tips on how to find great free RV camping sites.
NPS (National Park Service) - General
information about RV camping and campgrounds in US National
Parks. With campgrounds in the most historic and scenic
places in the country, the NPS offers some of the best places for RV
USACE/COE (US Army Corp of
Engineers) - USACE (perhaps better know as COE) manages water
recreation areas throughout the USA. Information about
finding USACE lakes, RV camping possibilities, and rules and policies
for use of these water based recreation areas is included.
Free and Low Cost
RV Camping Ideas In Illinois
Here's a list of places to consider when looking for a free overnight RV camping or parking location in Illinois. We always
recommend asking for overnight RV parking permission when looking for a free spot to spend the night. The smaller your RV,
the better chances you will have finding places to stay if you choose not to ask permission. If you don't ask permission, you
end up "sneaking" into places and hoping nobody bothers you or issues you a trespassing ticket before you move on.
Be smart and Be Safe...Ask Permission.
- Truck Stops -
Asking permission is usually not a requirement Be considerate
of the big rigs!
- Walmart - Not all
stores allow overnight RV parking in Illinois due to city
ordinances. Check store for policy.
- Nightclubs - Had
one too many or just pretending?
- Grain Elevators -
Ask where you can park your RV out of the way for the night.
Organizations - VFW, Elks etc. may allow members free overnight RV
- Cemetery - Sounds
creepy to us, but we've also heard they may have water available.
- Fairgrounds - State
and County facilities may allow RV camping when not otherwise in use.
- Parks - City,
County, State, and Community parks often have free RV
- Churches - You can
almost make "reservations" by calling ahead for permission.
- Hotel Parking Lots
- Assuming a nightclub/bar is inside, had one too many or just
- Truck Terminals -
Parking areas for large trucks might allow you free RV camping
- RV Dealers - Pretty
brave to us, but you could fit right in.
- Cracker Barrel -
These nationwide restaurants usually allow free overnight RV parking.
- Movie Theaters -
Too tired to drive home after the late show?
- Highway Rest Areas
- All rest areas allow a few hours of free RV parking, but noisy.
- Drive In Movies -
Got a small RV, park in the back row and enjoy the show. Fell
asleep by accident right?
- Vehicle Repair
Shops - Need to see the repairman first thing in the morning?
- Big Box Retailers -
Kmart, Best Buy, Sams Club often allow free RV camping.
- Roadside Parks
& Picnic Areas - The early day version of the rest
As you can see, there are a lot of free RV camping and parking
possibilities in Illinois. If you are not asking permission,
it's best to keep a very low profile. If your RV has slide
outs, jacks and TV antennas, don't use them so as not to draw attention
to yourself. Consider your surroundings carefully and if you
feel uncomfortable with the area, move somewhere